Honey: The Natural Cure
Honey has been discussed in medical circles for many years. Made by the humble bee, this golden liquid has recently been studied and is receiving even more respect for its vast healing properties. From the healing of simple cuts and scrapes to being a significant cure for many gastrointestinal disorders, honey is finally getting the recognition that it deserves.
Honey gives gastrointestinal disorders a healing touch
For those who suffer with an excess or lack of stomach acid, it can be a painful condition. Too much or not enough gastric acid can cause GERD and even ulcers. Though antacid treatments have been around for years, many people do not like the side-effects, aside from the fact that these medications do not fix the root of the problem. With the latest research in honey cures, patients suffering from acid reflux and other stomach ailments now have a natural method of relieving their problems.
Through both clinical and animal studies, researchers have found that honey, when used as a dietary supplement, has the ability to adjust stomach acid, either by increasing or reducing it. Not only does it adjust the acid, but it also has healing and antibiotic properties that have been successful in healing gastric ulcers. In a study, 600 gastric ulcer patients were given a daily oral dosage of pure honey. At the end of the study, radiological evidence proved that the ulcers completely disappeared in 59% of the patients. Through the study, 80% of patients recovered from their conditions. (Source: KANDIL, A; EL-BANBY, M; ABDEL-WAHED, K; ABDEL-GAWWAD, M; FAYEZ, M (1987) Curative properties of true floral and false nonfloral honeys and induced gastric ulcers. J.Drug.Res.Egypt 17 (1-2): 103-106.)
Honey has been used as a remedy for diarrhea since the 8th century. The Roman physician named Celsus used honey to cure his patients when they were suffering from gastrointestinal stress, producing diarrhea. Through these early forms of treatment, scientists have continued being fascinated by honey and its characteristics of healing.
Honey is an extremely potent inhibitor of one of the main causes of gastric ulcers, erosions, and gastritis. Greatly inhibiting Helicobacter Pylori, honey offers a soothing healing that works quite rapidly on healing ulcers and works almost instantly on relieving excess acid.
In a recent study, 40 different gastric ulcer patients were studied at a Russian hospital. Those patients who were given 120 ml of honey had improved micro capillary blood circulation. This is believed to be extremely beneficial in healing gastric ulcers. Studies suggest that taking just 30 ml a day of honey can heal those who are suffering from gastritis, duodenal ulcers, and stomach ulcers. (Source: DUBTSOVA, E (2009) Clinical studies with bee products for therapy of some nutritional diseases (in Russian). Central Moscow Institute of Gastroenterology Moscow; pp 1-38.)
Two Types of Honey are Creating Quite a Stir in the Medical Community
There are two types of honey that are truly a cut above other honey types. Both Yemini Sidr and New Zealand Manuka have been found to have some of the strongest antibacterial properties. Manuka honey comes from the Manuka bush that grows in New Zealand. Yemini Sidr comes from the Sidr tree in Yemen. Both of these honeys have been found to have a significantly greater potency of antibiotic agents and are more effective against both planktonic and bio-film grown bacterium than antibiotics (Source).
Though both of these are extremely potent in killing bacterium, it is NOT recommended that people ingest Manuka honey, so Yemini Sidr is the definite choice for ingestion for healing.
Though Manuka honey is wonderful for treating skin ailments, it should not be ingested due to its methylglyoxal content. Methylglyoxal is the active ingredient that gives Manuka honey its powerful antibacterial properties. Unfortunately methylglyoxal is a known genotoxin. A genotoxin is a chemical agent that actually damages the DNA in cells and causes them to mutate. This can cause cancer. Manuka honey is one of the most wonderful natural antibiotics, but it should not be used to treat infections in the body (Sources here and here).
These honeys have been found to cure MSSA (Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and PA (Pseudomonas Aeruginosa). In studies, the honey produced the following results:
- Manuka honey killed 91% of PA
- Manuka honey killed 63% of MRSA
- Manuka honey killed 82% or MSSA
- Yemeni Sidr honey killed 91% of PA
- Yemeni Sidr honey killed 73% of MRSA
- Yemeni Sidr honey killed 63% of MSSA
Both Sidr and Manuka honey are able to kill 100% of planktonic bacteria. This is a stunning number that proves the true benefits of both honeys. It is important to note that all raw honey, that has not been pasteurized, has antibacterial properties. This is due to the honey’s low pH and its amazing ability to produce Hydrogen-peroxide. Concerning Manuka honey it is due to its high level of methylglyoxal.
Unlike Hydrogen-peroxide, that loses its antibacterial properties when heat is applied, Manuka honey retains its antibacterial agents, even when it is pasteurized. Through studies on Manuka and Sidr honey, researchers were able to study sinusitis patients who suffered from chronic sinusitis infections. The two types of honey were extremely effective in healing sinusitis, both in infection and after sinus surgery. It is hoped that these findings will lead to treatment options for sinusitis patients to use honey instead of the traditional antibiotics that are used now.
Honey’s amazing ability to heal is giving it world-wide attention and the medical community is recognizing its possibilities. While honey is an amazing natural cure for many, it is important to note that it is not for everyone. Honey should never be given to infants under one year of age, as it can become toxic in their bodies and lead to illness and even death. Honey should also be avoided by certain allergy sufferers. When using honey for skin infections and other conditions, a small amount should be given, to gauge the reaction.
If you are looking for a natural cure, you cannot find a better one than honey. With scientific evidence to backup its healing properties, honey is a product that can truly change your health. You can use honey in many different ways, to cure your ailments and heal your body.
Do you use honey as a sweetener or do you use it for its healing properties?
Well I really don’t know what to think. I have consumed manuka honey for years thinking it was good for me. It seems that every time I read something online somebody is saying it is good for me and somebody else is saying it isn’t.
I trained as a nutritionist in the 1980’s and everything seemed so much more straight forward in those days. Now everything you ever learned is turned upside down.
Hi Janet, and welcome here. I just visited your website and read about your book (leaky gut syndrome) – I am very impressed and grateful that you left a comment here on my blog :)
Concerning manuka honey, I started researching about it when I wanted to purchase it for myself. At first I was very excited with all the positive reviews and underlying research, but when I found out about its methylglyoxal content I had to share this with others. My goal was not to confuse anyone –
Something to consider: I do not know if the concentration of MGO is high enough in this honey to be dangerous – but I always try to stay on the safe side.
Hi Charles thank you for your kind words about my website. Although I have been in this business many years I am learning all the time and always happy to change my opinion. I appreciate your honesty and do wonder about the concentration of MGO (never heard of it before)
Manuka honey is my one and only “sweet treat” so would be hard to give up. I have never heard of the other honey here in the UK
I suppose my stance has always been not to be too extreme in my views with the hope that I will reach out to more people and effect a change in their lives. However I also understand the need for more controversial topics for those who are interested and I am quickly learning that there are plenty about particularly in the US.
While we have monitored the rate of methylglyoxal content in Manuka honey, it is also noted in a recent study coming from Australia that when Methylglyoxal was removed from the honey, the honey was as potent as before in terms of its antiseptic properties. Unlike certain companies, Wedderspoon does not recommend using high levels of methylglyoxal to feel better. In fact, we know our honeys do contain beneficial components that are not found in other Manuka and we pride ourselves for providing one of the best quality Manuka out there on the market place, guaranteeing you a raw quality that has not been modified. Many activity levels can be modified, as we know, by heat and flash pasteurisation, which may increase the harmful levels of methylgloxal you are referring to. It is true that I have also seen certain companies advertising a dietary methylglyoxal content, which would be the equivalent of saying: Edible cytotoxin and this is very wrong and detrimental to the quality and true values of Manuka. While Methylglyoxal can be found in lower amounts in many foods, it is true that using any foods should be taken in moderation. Red wine, for example, has some benefits and has been known to be good for your arteries, and also contain methylglyoxal content. However, it is also recommended to drink with moderation. Same thing would go with Manuka Honey. While we recommend eating a teaspoon a day does not mean we encourage people to eat a jar per day. Live enzymes present in our honeys are extremely vital to human sustainability and carries many other positive factors not marketed in Manuka honey, as too much marketing around one single component has been detrimental to the overall qualities of this product. Our brand has accumulated hundreds of testimonials from happy customers over the years and while we stand behind the quality of our brand, I can also tell you that our US president eats Manuka honey and had breast cancer a few years ago. Her diet now consists of organic foods, including our Manuka honey.
I can also understand your fear based on the article that was published, which seems to be favoring the SIDR honey over Manuka for certain things and even for eating but less research has been conducted on SIDR honey also. Yet, Manuka honey has been eaten for the last century without any issues. Yet, the danger is still there with companies, whose profit relies on the higher the number the better for you, which is misleading and perhaps dangerous to human health, as you indicated. Such products may be denatured on purpose to reach a higher level of methylgloxyal based on demand. The Asian population requested a higher activity number a few years ago, believing Manuka honey would be acting like a drug. The more potent the better. We know this is wrong to assume and we always stayed true to our name. In fact, we never changed our activity levels even if some companies have gone as far as increasing the number to 20 and 25, sometimes more. We have personally tested certain honeys on the Canadian market that do advertise a dietary methylglyoxal level of 400 mg per kilogram with a level over 900 mg per kilogram. You will never see this with the Wedderspoon products.
Sabastian Martin thank you for countering the calim manuka is unsafe to consume. Without more to back up such a “sentence” it seems irresponsible. I have taken manuka and given it to my family for years and makes little sense to throw out there such a biased opinion without facts . Very discouraging. I have never even heard of the other type. And this article didn’t point in any direction to get it .. Like you stated many foods or drinks contain this substance and other substances that would be considered toxic if consumed in large quantities
I can’t get over the statement that Manuka Honey should not be taken internally! My grandmother fed me a dessertspoon full every night when I was a kid and it had ALWAYS been a favourite item for breakfast (on toast) and as an alternative to sugar as a sweetener. We have two unopened and one opened container in the house as I type this. At almost 65 years of age, I really feel that perhaps you have overstated the so called danger of taking it internally….as would tens of thousands of other New Zealanders. I have a spoonful at night if I have trouble sleeping and it is a great help. has anyone ever traced any illness back to this threat that you are telling us about, or is it all conjecture?
I just wanted to point out that many foods contain “toxic” substances that are rendered harmless because of other components in the food. They are bound together and work synergistically rather than singly. Many times the FDA has tried to isolate a substance from food or herbs that have been deemed toxic, yet the food or herb itself is very healthy or beneficial when used in its whole, natural state. The amount of methylglyoxal may be nothing when mixed with the other benefits of the honey…just my two cents.
I am 76 years of age . Recently I spent 3 months in Sydney during winter. My daughter and grandchildren were having flu from time to time. I had 1/4 teaspoon of Manuka Honey and 1 or 2 black garlic a day. I was not infected although I was eating and traveling with them.
I also find that both Yemini and Manuka Honey are excellent for periodontal cure. Take 1/4 teaspoon of either Yemimi or Manuka Honey after brushing my teeth at night and leave it melt in my mouth.
Personally, I find Yemini Honey has a better taste but I don’t see it being graded by UMF as in Manuka Honey.
For maintenance dosage, please advise whether 15+UMF is good enough instead of 20+UMF
I have been recommending Manuka Honey 20+UMF to patients who are suffering bad mouth ulcer during chemotherapy and it works well. Please confirm that I am doing the right thing.
I’m wondering about the comment that honey perhaps should not be used by allergy sufferers. I was considering having my son ingest this honey for helping to heal his stomach lining and almost as a probiotic. Is there a way to tell if it is safe for him to ingest?
so how do we use honey to increase low stomach acid?
which honey will do that?
The article is interesting, Manuka Honey has been consumed for years. There is is also a study in the BJN (british journal of nutrition) about UMF 20+, the one that contains the highest level of MG. No safety issues reported.
This article sounds like it was funded by the Sidr honey producers so they can gain more for their honey, with less studies.